Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong'o just landed her first coveted Vogue cover -- looking stunning in a low-cut purple dress for the high fashion magazine's July 2014 issue -- but what's sure to get everyone talking is the confirmation about the 12 Years a Slave star's love life!
"It just feels like the entertainment industry exploded into my life," Lupita, 31, says about her "surreal" year going from being an unknown actress to being crowned Hollywood's latest It girl. "People who seemed so distant all of a sudden were right in front of me and recognizing me -- before I recognized them!"
And though she doesn't talk about it, Vogue writer Hamish Bowles confirms that she's currently dating Somali-born rapper K'naan, 36.
But Lupita is of course game to talk fashion with the magazine, revealing the "intense" experience of being on a red carpet.
"The red carpet feels like a war zone, except you cannot fly or fight; you just have to stand there and take it," she says. " ... Everyone said, 'Brace yourself, Lupita! Keep a granola bar in that clutch of yours!' I didn’t really understand what they meant, and it was only once it was past that I realized that my body had been holding on by a thread to get through this very intense experience. Nothing can prepare you for awards season."
On her "epic six-hour fittings," Lupita says, "It's a job; it's work, you know! We'd just try, try, try, try, try, try, try. At first it was very daunting, but I ended up really having fun with it."
As for her high-profile new Star Wars role, not surprisingly, she remains tight-lipped, but she does say that she's particularly intrigued by R2-D2 and C-3PO.
"They just resonated with me. Being able to convey emotions with just a few digital sounds -- it speaks of good storytelling," she says. "They're worlds away from 12 Years a Slave, that's for sure -- but that kind of diversity is what dreams are made of."